EU threatens Taliban with 'isolation' if seizes power
"If power is taken by force and an Islamic Emirate re-established, the Taliban would face non-recognition, isolation, lack of international support and the prospect of continued conflict and protracted instability in Afghanistan," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.
"The EU aims to continue its partnership and support to the Afghan people. However, support will be conditioned on a peaceful and inclusive settlement and respect for the fundamental rights of all Afghans, including women, youth and minorities," Borrell said.
He insisted that "it is critical that the significant gains made by women and girls over the past two decades are preserved, including as regards access to education".
The statement called for "an immediate halt of the ongoing violence" and urged the Taliban to resume peace talks with the government in Kabul.
"The EU condemns the increasing violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and human rights, in particular in Taliban-controlled areas and in cities," it said.
Borrell said the 27-nation bloc also encouraged the authorities in Kabul "to settle political differences, increase representation of all stakeholders and engage with the Taliban from a united perspective".
The statement came after Afghan troops abandoned the country's third largest city Herat in the face of a Taliban blitz that has seen it seize swathes of the country following the withdrawal of foreign forces.